Controversial multi-million pound One Angel Square building shortlisted for architecture award

One Angel Square.
One Angel Square.

Northamptonshire County Council HQ has been nominated for an architectural gong following controversial plans to sell and lease the £53m building back to fund social care.

As first reported by the Chron in October, it was mentioned in an audit report by independent council bosses that the county council could choose to lease their flagship building, One Angel Square to balance the books.

Northamptonshire County Council new HQ building was designed by BDP.

Northamptonshire County Council new HQ building was designed by BDP.

Under the arrangement, the office complex – which is already saving £53,000 a week on reduced running costs alone - would be sold as freehold with the council leasing it back for a period of 25 years or more.

Now One Angel Square has been shortlisted for a gong in the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) East Midlands 2018 Awards for demonstrating "the breadth of high-quality architecture".

Talking about the award, a spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “One Angel Square is an important building for the county council and in the regeneration of Northampton.

“Bringing workers into the town centre from 12 buildings around Northampton is not only a boost to the local economy but also helps to unite staff in this modern, flexible work space.

“It is also built to a high environmental specification, which not only means a lower carbon footprint but also reduced costs.”

BDP won the design competition for a new office building for Northamptonshire County Council in August 2013 to enable its workforce to relocate from 12 properties into one headquarters.

The brief was for a flexible office building, bringing approximately 2,000 employees back to the town centre to this former brownfield site while providing an environment for collaborative working and enabling new ways of working for improved productivity.

Designed as two ‘yin and yang’ forms, the building encloses a central courtyard, with office and collaborative spaces.

The buildings that have been shortlisted are:

Advanced Manufacturing Building, University of Nottingham by Bond Bryan Architects

Alton Nether Farm, Ashbourne by Evans Vettori

Castle Hall, De Montfort University, Leicester by maber

Font House, Market Harborough by Gluckman Smith

Isaac Newton Building, University of Lincoln by maber

Lenton Gardens, Nottingham by JTP

NGS Macmillan Unit, Chesterfield Royal Hospital by The Manser Practice

Nottingham Mews House by Chiles Evans + Care Architects

Orchard Barn, Ashover by Chiles Evans + Care Architects

Oundle School, by van Heyningen and Haward Architects

Private House, Gertrude Road, Nottingham by ta Architecture

The Fairway, Leicester by Daykin Marshall Studio

The GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratories for Sustainable Chemistry, Nottingham by Fairhursts Design Group

Vijay Patel Building, De Montfort University, Leicester by CPMG Architects

RIBA East Midlands chair Sam Culling welcomed the news. He said: “I’m delighted that 15 projects have been shortlisted for the RIBA East Midlands 2018 Awards.

The diversity of schemes selected, including five by regionally-based practices, demonstrates the breadth of high-quality architecture that this region has to offer.”

All shortlisted buildings will be assessed by judges with the winning buildings announced at the RIBA East Midlands Awards evening and reception on Thursday 17 May at The Engineering Building at Leicester University.

Regional award winners will be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will be announced in June.